The Performance Class is doing our first multi-track recording next week to end the session. Class time last night was devoted to rehearsal and song discussion to have band and performer on the same page for next week.
- Next week is the last class of the session and then there will be a summer break. See you all again on August 31.
CD Review - Westside Andy
Our friend Tall Paul Sabel checked in recently to share his thoughts on the new CD release from Westside Andy:
Some of my favorite recordings are live blues cds, probably because I really love being at live performances. It is magic when the recording can capture the special feeling of a band dialed in on stage in front of a live audience. Every instrument can be heard, every sung line is clear, and yet it still feels like you are at the live show. Blues Just Happen, the new release by Westside Andy Linderman has all of that and more.
In the first track, “Just Keep Loving Her” Billy Flynn yells an enthusiastic “Blues!” going into a vamp toward the end of the song. These guys were having fun that night in Janesville, WI, and when blues musicians of this caliber are having fun special things happen. Each musician on this recording delivers. Billy Flynn (guitar, vocals) and Barrelhouse Chuck (keyboards, vocals) have teamed up on several recordings over the years, including the Grammy winning soundtrack for the movie “Cadillac Records.” The rhythm section of Steve Dougherty (drums) and Dave Wood (bass) are rock solid. The great musicianship of this group really seems to bring the best out of Westside Andy on this grease-dripping blues set.
I often try to put my finger on what makes Westside Andy such a great harmonica player. He uses all the tools including tone, dynamics, phrasing, space, rhythm, groove, technique, and emotion to seem as if he is playing at ease while being one of the most expressive musicians in the world.
In a time when so many bands are saving money by putting out cds in the sleeve format with no liner notes, Westside Andy invested in a proper cd package with great pictures and beautiful graphic design. The picture of the band in front of a worn brick wall is great, and when you look closer the boarded up windows are actually pictures of each of the stellar musicians backing Westside Andy up on this disc. When I first started listening to blues, reading liner notes in cdʼs from the library and figuring out who was influenced by whom and then checking those cats out was a valuable part of my education and added to my enjoyment of the music on the disc. The notes from Dan Aykroyd and Mark Thompson do a great job adding insight about Westside Andy and the music you hear on the disc. In a digital age, this one is worth buying in physical form.
--”Tall” Paul Sabel
- Grant Kessler, B1 Blues Crew